Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All the Ricochet Videos

Someone asked me for the links to all the Ricochet videos featuring Claire Berlinski attending the "secret" Italian conference on political correctness, the unappreciated genius of her father, David Berlinski, and other extremely important scientific topics. That's not so easy, because the Ricochet site is really hard to navigate. But here they are, to the best of my ability to produce them.

Great Expectations Under the Tuscan Sun, June 11

This Morning's Panel: Political Correctness, June 13

Mike Denton and the Coming Post-Mechanistic Era in Biology, June 14

Why Are Young American Scientists Too Afraid to Appear in This Video?, June 14

Why Haven't Our Great Expectations of the Sciences Been Met?, June 14

Your Questions Answered, or at Least Asked, June 15

Great Expectations: Two Memories,
June 16

Free Markets, A Lunar Eclipse, the Engines of Innovation, and Intelligent Design, June 16

From Popper to Gödel: Your Questions Answered, June 16

The most interesting new discovery for me was this: "The point of the conference was to ask: What if we've been looking at these problems in too limited a way? What if in fact, the so-called materialist hypothesis has already achieved most of what it can achieve? What if the most interesting ideas in science are precisely the ones no one wants to talk about, because they might lead to spooky metaphysical conclusions?

One presentation suggested a path from a new program for inquiry in biology toward interesting results in biotechnology. The ultra-secretive people--I may now reveal--were investors, mainly in the high-tech industry, who are at the end of their tether with orthodoxy about the ideas they are and aren't allowed to think about. They're asking themselves, "If we look at these problems in a different way, might we invent something new, something from which we can make a lot of money?" Yes, you read that right: a lot of money. Capitalism, engine of human progress, strikes again."


Of course, this is utter bilge. On the one hand, there's absolutely no reason to think that believing in imaginary sky fairies is going to help you build better hardware or software. On the other, there's no one in high-tech industries who says "you're not allowed to talk about this idea" because it brings in "spooky metaphysical conclusions". That's just some bizarre wacko fantasy.

There's only one man I know who combines these kinds of bizarre obsessions and is interested in investing: George Gilder. How much do you want to bet that Gilder was behind this foolishness?

15 comments:

David said...

That was exactly the same comment I found most absurd for pretty much the same reasons. After glancing at Gilder's wikipedia entry, it does look likely that he was one of, and probably the main, "investor". Are there any good articles about him in regards to intelligent design? I've followed ID stuff for a while but never heard about him. Techno-utopian creationist is an odd combination.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

You can read his own views here.

David said...

*eye-roll* Pretty standard ID then. Though this was charming:
"Darwinism seemed to offer me and its other male devotees a long-sought tool — resembling the x-ray glasses lamentably found elsewhere only in cartoons — for stripping away the distracting d├ęcor of clothing and the political underwear of ideology worn by feminists and other young women of the day."
You stay classy, Gilder.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Gilder has some truly wacky ideas about male-female relations. Read Sexual Suicide if you want to find out more.

Anonymous said...

What do you hope to prove now? Try disabling the profile if it irks you so much.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Anonymous - you are incomprehensible.

Disable what profile?

What the heck are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a real mathematician and Inspector Clouseau all rolled into one. Be proud of your readership man, you attract such high quality. Who else is going to comment? I have'nt seen this much fun since cut down fights on the bus in junior high. You rode the short bus, right?

Chris said...

Perhaps there is some law that people who accuse others of riding the short bus will inevitably misspell words in their posts, as in anonymous's "have'nt."

The "I haven't seen this much fun" sounds a lot like a certain antievolution professor...damn it, I can't remember his name or university. He's a famous troll, though. Anyone?

John Stockwell said...


The ultra-secretive people--I may now reveal--were investors, mainly in the high-tech industry, who are at the end of their tether with orthodoxy about the ideas they are and aren't allowed to think about. They're asking themselves, "If we look at these problems in a different way, might we invent something new, something from which we can make a lot of money?" Yes, you read that right: a lot of money. Capitalism, engine of human progress, strikes again."


Suppose there really are investors---as in marks? (Robert Redford straightens his fedora, and places his right index finger on the
side of his nose. The long con is on.)

Is there a perp walk in the future of certain members of the Discovery Institute when the technological advances don't appear?

miohippus said...

Anonymous, Jeffrey is right-you are incomprehensible. Tell us what you implying by your short bus comment.

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

Mike Denton and the Coming Post-Mechanistic Era in Biology, June 14

Dr. Denton: I read your book, "Evolution: ATIC." I note in your video that you identify yourself as a geneticist. Speaking for myself and many other molecular biologists, thank you. Your book came out in the 1980s. I hope you have since learned how to interpret sequence comparisons. Cheers.

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

Addendum to Dr. Denton: "Vital power"? have fun living in the past.

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

George Gilder - he provided a lovely quote for a Boston Globe article back in 2005: "Intelligent design itself does not have any content"

Eising said...

That quote may or may not have been edited by the Globe. Either way, he subsequently explained what he meant:

"My point was that intelligent design does not answer the question of the source of the design. Use of the term points the argument toward what we don't know scientifically and probably cannot know (the designer or intelligent force in the Universe) rather than toward what we do know: the flaws in the materialist Darwinian model."

You can view this as me trying to defend Gilder. I'm not. I'm just trying to be fair to him.

Chris said...

Too late perhaps, but now I remember who 'anonymous' is (so I think, anyway): John A. Davison, University of Vermont.

Here is one article about him:

http://badidea.wordpress.com/2007/12/30/sal-cordova-intelligent-design-blog-a-hoax-john-a-davison-edition/